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ERIC Number: EJ854170
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-1536-7509
A Lab with a View: American Postdocs Abroad
Gladfelter, Amy
Cell Biology Education, v1 n4 p128-131 Win 2002
As recently as the early 1970s, a postdoctoral research experience overseas was a valued part of training for a U.S. biologist aspiring to an academic position. Not only did the U.S. scientists benefit educationally from participating in different laboratory and cultural systems, but labs outside the United States were enriched by the ideas, perspectives, and skills brought by the visiting researchers. In the past 30 years, this migration of young U.S. scientists has notably declined while the United States now plays host to thousands of scientists, from all over the world, drawn to the energy and productivity of the large, U.S. research enterprise. When asked why young, U.S. biologists are reluctant to experience research in a foreign country, most faculty members and graduate students seem to share a common perception that the tenure-track faculty job market is too competitive to risk doing a foreign postdoc. Additional barriers keeping U.S.-trained scientists at home include fear of language difficulties and expectations of poorly funded research environments abroad. Furthermore, many overwhelmed PhD students do not know how to begin searching for a postdoc position in the United States, much less in the entire world. Ironically, some of these barriers are rooted in a basic fear of disappearing from the mainstream of U.S. academics in a time when technology makes staying connected across great distances simple. The author recently navigated the process of choosing a postdoc position and personally encountered all these barriers during her planning, but she still decided to move abroad for this phase of study. In this article, the author describes how she made this choice and offers advice on how others may direct their postdoc decision process. In addition, the author shares what she has encountered in her experience, from language difficulties to teaching opportunities, during one year of living in Europe. (Contains 1 figure and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Switzerland; United States